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review 2019-01-12 22:11
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain;Samuel Clemens

First the book . . .

 

This story is about Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) meeting a man on a castle tour and the man knew everything about the castle. Later, Twain meets the man and they talk a while about how this man, Hank Morgan new so much about the castle. Hank didn’t tell a story, but left Twain with a book, or better yet a diary of Hank falling asleep and waking thirteen hundred years earlier.

 

Hank Morgan’s father was a blacksmith and his uncle a horse doctor. Hank ran a gun factory, starting at the bottom and learning everything, to quote:

 

“ I could make anything a body wanted- anything in the world, it didn’t make a difference what; and if there wasn’t any quick newfangled way to make a thing, I could invent one – and do it as easy as rolling off a log.”

 

So Hanks diary becomes the book “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court”.

 

Well if you’ve read the book, Clemens attacks a lot of issues of his day, our day too. Religion, not really religion but when it is organized so well that it attacks the way a person lives his life. Slavery. He hated it and it even haunted him. Most of what he wrote about slavery were his own feelings. Other things like monarchy, nepotism, politics, and poverty. He even made fun of ad campaigns like soap ads. He brought up some things that even strikes today, which is when he came across was people that would take things as fact if it was said. No evidence of proof, and if evidence was there, it was forgotten as soon as the words were spoken.  He made fun of himself.

 

With the inventiveness of Morgan, he tells a story about how he overcomes these obstacles or at least the obstacles he chooses with modern tools and skillfulness he can create. And then he told of he destructing every advancement he made.

 

About the narrator . . .

 

Nick Offerman has this mid-western accent that does well with the book. It’s probably not an easy to perform, being as dated as it is but he does a good job of it. To me, he started off slow, not very into it but this could have been by design. By the end of the book, he was really going strong. This could also be to Twain having modernized the language of the book as Hank modernized the culture. Maybe not award worthy but Offerman did a good narrative.

 

My thoughts on the book . . .

 

As I said before I started the book, the biggest reason I choose this was the narrator. The book is good, but dated and sometimes hard to keep up with the dated sayings of that time. I am reading the book along with the audio-book and it does give me footnotes to help and some insight on what Clemons/Twain was thinking, or at least what somebody else thought what he was thinking. I would love to see what Clemons would write if he were alive today. I would think he would have a field day mocking both sides of the aisle. With that said, please don’t take this as something I am trying to politicize. I do not participate in political debates of today. It’s like teaching a pig to sing. You will only annoy the pig.

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text 2018-12-09 21:57
24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 - St. Nicholas' Day / Sinterklaas, Task 4 (Books Featuring Children Rescued from Peril)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain,Guy Cardwell,John Seelye
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Black Stallion - Walter Farley,Keith Ward
M - Jon J. Muth

I suppose Harry Potter and just about every children's / YA fantasy (or mystery) series would fill this bill, but big HP and Three Investigators fan though I am, let me offer these for consideration instead:

 

1.  Mark Twain: The Adventure of Tom Sawyer -- Tom and Becky Thatcher in McDougal's Cave (rescued thanks to Tom's tenacious search for an exit), and Tom and Huck Finn up against Injun Joe; inter alia, listening to Joe's and his cohorts' plans at the peril of their own death in case they are discovered, and Tom incurring the same risk by speaking up at Injun Joe's trial (after which Joe escapes through a window).

 

2.  Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Secret Garden -- At the beginning of the book, Mary is sent to England to stay with her uncle to save her from the cholera epidemic that will shortly thereafter kill both of her parents, who have remained in India.

 

3.  Walter Farley: The Black Stallion -- Alec and "The Black" become friends when they help each other to survive on a desert island after being shipwrecked.

 

Honorable mention:

 

"M" (screenplay, not book): A chillingly creepy 1930s movie,  concerning the hunt for a pedophile serial killer -- starring Peter Lorre (pre-Hollywood) as the pedophile and directed by Fritz Lang.

 

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review 2018-12-09 11:04
Youthful Frolicking: "The Mysterious Stranger" by Mark Twain
The Mysterious Stranger - Mark Twain


(Original Review, 1981-04-17)



“The Mysterious Stranger” by Mark Twain which presented a very bleak and troubling vision of humanity. It had some Huck Finn style youthful frolicking too but this was swamped by that sense that human history and the consequences of moral decision making are a horrible dream that the narrator may be able to escape from but we cannot. I was expecting some jolly progressive waffle about the stupidity of religion but the book went far deeper than that especially when Satan started compassionately bumping people off because he could foretell how awful their lives would be if he didn't.

 

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-12-07 10:18
Folksy Ways: "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

(Original Review, 1981-03-18)



I guess “Ulysses” pushes the envelope of “Literature was made for man, not man for literature” but I like to give the benefit of the doubt to books especially if not only do they have a sustained critical reputation, but if people whose opinions I respect think the book is great stuff. When I was venting some of my frustration about “Ulysses” and “Finnegans Wake” to a well-read musician friend, she just gently suggested that if I let myself listen to the music of the language it might change my perception. When it comes to ”Finnegans Wake” I couldn’t do it…I’m still deaf.
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

 

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review 2018-12-06 00:13
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain

I read this book so many times....in high school, in college, just for fun as an adult and with my kids when it was assigned to them. Recently, I was wanting something fun and different to read and I re-read it again. It amazes me how much I noticed in this reading that I didn't see all the previous times. Tom and the other boys' preoccupation with witches and spells to remove warts and how much better read the boys were in the 1800s. It still is funny that his aunt doses him with medicine that she finds and he hates. Also how much imagination boys have and their running around and getting into so much trouble. I still enjoy this story and wish my kids would read it again and see what is different for them from when they first read it and now. 

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